Sports Digest

January 8

Maryland defensive coordinator Brian Stewart agreed to terms on a multiyear contract extension, two sources with knowledge of the situation said Tuesday night.

Stewart’s previous contract, a two-year deal signed on Jan. 18, 2012, paid him a total salary of $355,250 per year — including extras. The deal was scheduled to expire Jan. 31.

Popular among his players, Stewart has spent nine seasons in the NFL ranks with four teams, learning under Wade Phillips and serving as the defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys from 2007-08. He held the same position with the Houston Cougars from 2010-11 before joining Coach Randy Edsall’s staff in 2012.

Under Stewart, a pressure-minded coach who runs a blitz-heavy 3-4 scheme, Maryland finished tied for 18th nationally this season in sacks per game, 44th in total defense and eighth nationally in tackles for a loss.

— Alex Prewitt

The BCS title game’s wild finish couldn’t draw in more television viewers than last year’s blowout.

Florida State’s 34-31 last-second win over Auburn on Monday night was watched by an average of 25.6 million on ESPN. That’s down 3 percent from the 26.4 million for Alabama’s 42-14 rout of Notre Dame a year ago. . . .

The Big Ten suspended Iowa basketball Coach Fran McCaffery for one game and fined Iowa $10,000 for his outburst during Sunday night’s loss at Wisconsin.

McCaffery received back-to-back technical fouls and was ejected for arguing with officials midway through the second half. He will sit out Thursday’s home game against Northwestern. . . .

Texas-El Paso kicked McKenzie Moore, Justin Crosgile and Jalen Ragland off the basketball team, saying they had bet on at least one sporting event. The players were not believed to have bet on UTEP games or participated in point-shaving to influence the outcome, said Richard Adauto, the university’s executive vice president.

Moore was averaging 13.1 points and 4.5 rebounds a game.

Soccer

Manchester United slumped to a third consecutive loss for the first time in 13 years when Sunderland added to Manager David Moyes’s troubles by winning the first leg of their League Cup semifinal, 2-1, on Tuesday night.

The setback against the Premier League’s last-place team completed a hat trick of 2-1 losses at the start of 2014 for Moyes, in his first season as Alex Ferguson’s successor.

United, which won the Premier League by 11 points last season, trails first-place Arsenal by 11 points. The Red Devils can still reach the League Cup final if they overturn the deficit in the second leg of the total-goals series at Old Trafford on Jan 22. . . .

Lionel Messi is set to return from a two-month injury layoff after being cleared by Barcelona team doctors. He hasn’t played since tearing his left hamstring on Nov. 10.

Misc.

Breanna Stewart earned her second USA Basketball female athlete of the year honor.

The 6-foot-5 Connecticut sophomore also was player of the year in 2011, and has guided the Huskies to a 15-0 mark this season, averaging 18.1 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.8 blocks.

Stewart helped the Huskies win the national title as a freshman and guided the FIBA U19 World Championship team to a gold medal last summer. . . .

Nancy Kerrigan, 44, will serve as an analyst for NBC during the Olympics, 20 years after she was the story of the 1994 Games.

The network said that the two-time figure skating medalist will contribute to figure skating coverage, along with the “Today” show and “Access Hollywood.” She will not be doing color commentary on the competitions. . . .

Nani Roma of Spain won the third stage of the Dakar Rally, which also pulled him into the overall lead in the car division.

Roma, driving a Mini, finished 1 minute 7 seconds ahead of Krzysztof Holowczyc of Poland and 3:19 in front of Leeroy Poulter of South Africa. Roma leads the overall standings by 9:06 over Orlando Terranova of Argentina. . . .

A disciplinary panel of Jamaica’s anti-doping agency has started hearings into a positive test for a banned substance by sprinter Sherone Simpson.

Testifying before a three-member panel of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission, Simpson insisted she was “no cheat.”

The Olympic 400 relay gold and silver medalist, along with former 100-meter world-record holder Asafa Powell, tested positive for the stimulant oxilofrone in June. She said a supplement provided by newly-hired trainer Christopher Xuereb was responsible for a positive test. . . .

Undefeated welterweight Dusty Hernandez-Harrison of the District will take on “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon Jr. on Jan. 31 in West Orange, N.J. The fight will be televised on ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights,” making it the national television debut for Hernandez-Harrison (19-0, 11 KOs).

— From news services
and staff reports

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